Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tammi Becker, Owner of Mountain City Candle Co., located in Frostburg, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Mountain City Candle Co. is a woman-owned small business in the quaint mountain town of Frostburg, Maryland. Our passion is providing candle lovers with their favorite scented candles and offering new candle users the truly best quality candles available. We use 100% soy wax, cotton wicks, and phthalate-free fragrances to craft affordable, high-quality, strong-scented candles that are superior to the rest.
Tell us about yourself
I started making candles in 2015, when I was pregnant, as a hobby. When my son started daycare, I was giving away baby food jar candles to friends, family, and daycare workers. My hobby became a legit business in 2018, and today I just love making my business grow. I love coming up with new scents and creating candles that truly smell like they are named.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I ran a candle fundraiser last year with my teacher friend, Annie. Her class sold candles to raise funds for their green school activities. Their candle sales help fund local tree planting, building birdhouses, and experiencing first-hand agricultural lessons. This year they are using the funds to take a trip to the Maryland Chesapeake Bay Environmental Education Center. I love hearing about the experiences and first-hand fun that the students are able to have because of my candle fundraisers.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Finding a balance between working & family time will always be my biggest struggle. Owning a candle company doesn't just mean I'm pouring candles. It means I'm speaking with customers, participating in vendor shows, making deliveries, coding my website, creating social media and email campaigns, paying bills, analyzing sales, buying supplies, managing shipping... the list goes on and on. Even when I'm not working, I'm thinking about my never-ending to-do list. Owning a business is a 24/7 job, and while I work incredibly hard, it's important to be able to "turn it off" to be present with my family.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Put in the work, and lots of it. No one cares about your business and dreams like you do, and its success depends on how much you put into it.
- Don't dig a debt hole. Businesses are very expensive to run, so spend smart to keep your debt to a minimum. Work another job while you are launching your business, and don't take a paycheck from your business for at least your first 3-5 years.
- Go the extra mile for your customer. Do everything you can for your customers. Word of mouth is worth it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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